We now fully know the details of the Philippine-spec Hyundai Santa Fe and it's pretty impressive. One thing we did notice was it no longer comes with all-wheel drive. Why? It's because of the quality of our diesel fuel.
You may be asking what's the relation of fuel quality and all-wheel drive. Speaking to Hyundai Asia and Pacific's non-technical trainer Sivitha Nakula, she gave a valid explanation.
Yes, Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the country, specified them that way. But the key reason, Nakula explained, is because the AWD Santa Fe is equipped with a Euro 6 turbodiesel while the front-wheel drive model, which is what we have, comes with a Euro 5 engine.
So does this mean we'll never get the all-wheel drive Santa Fe? Not necessarily. Once more local oil companies decide to shift to Euro 6, then perhaps HARI might consider bringing in the all-wheel drive version. That said, don't expect it to come any time soon.
The lack of all-wheel drive aside, the Philippine-spec Santa Fe is closely related to the ASEAN-spec models. It loses the panoramic sunroof but it still comes with the 360-degree camera, wireless smartphone charging, seven seats and 19-inch alloy wheels, to name a few. We do get fewer color choices though. The Philippines only gets three color choices (black, white, brown) while the other markets get more vivid options like orange and red.
For those who are curious, the AWD diesel Santa Fe is available for the Malaysian and Singaporean markets. Cambodia on the other hand will only get the gas-fed Santa Fe, again because of diesel fuel quality. There's even a 3.5-liter V6 gas engine available, but the Philippines won't be getting that.